I feel like Ernest P. Worrell lately, you know, like in Ernest Goes to Jail, when he has a mass influx of electricity pumped through his body and then all the electricity begins to surge through his body and zap everything he sets his eyes on. Instead of electricity, I’ve had a surge of emotion, dimmed emotions.
Before I go to sleep at night, I feel a lot of dread. Not because I don’t want to approach tomorrow or anything like that, I wake up and generally feel excited to be alive and given yet another day to experience whatever the world sends my way, but just a dread knowing that I’ll wake up tomorrow and be in this same sort of rut I’ve been stuck in for almost a year now. A directionless life, or at least no wind to take me where my sails are facing. It’s nice when you’re young to get some respite in such things. Like anyone else, I always looked forward to summer because it meant I could wake up whenever I wanted, play as many video games, spend as much time with my friends and do as much nothing as I could handle. It worked because I never got quite as much as I wanted, and there was an end to it. Now that I’m older, it doesn’t work because of those same two reasons.
I can’t force myself to wake up early because I have nothing to wake up to. I have a lot of goals and projects and I do a lot to work on them, but I have different subsets of goals set out. My real-world and adult goals have been the following (and in order): get back in school, get a job, move back to Nashville, complete my final semester and graduate and then likely move to LA with Ryan B. In the meantime, my big picture goals have been plentiful, such as get all the music work done on my documentary and fake rap duo I’m in, start filming other things, establish myself in other ways (such as in the competitive gaming community) and all sorts of other things. The big picture/abstract stuff has been all I’ve been able to do, but because I hit a roadblock in the actual tangible stuff, I feel myself rubberbanding in the other areas.
First off, let’s just ignore the fact that I did have a job and just randomly left. I don’t really care to talk about it. I don’t do things liks that without reason, or at least, I’ve never known myself to, but I also don’t do things for only one cause, unless completely deplorable, which is why I don’t really care to talk about it, because it was a culmination of things that struck me all at once, which led me to make the decision. It just wasn’t the right situation for me.
With that said, it is funny because now on this job hunt, I have broadened (or to say it bluntly, lowered my standards) my possible horizons so much that you’d think I’d consider my previous departure to be foolishness, but I don’t. Anyway, with that addressed, I’ll say that it plays a large part in the feelings I have to endure throughout the day and night. I think a lot of it boils down to what is really irking me lately; I hate to see my family in the position they are in these days.
I catch myself watching my dad, even just sitting at one of the computers in the house, typing some piece of work up, or maybe just kind of staring into the blankness of the screen as he collects what must a rare moment of rest and solace in what amounts to a microfraction of a day in his long, burdening life and just feel terrible. It isn’t that I pity him or imagine he hates his life or anything, I know he has more joy than he knows what to do with, but it just seems like the great American tragedy; to be put in this world with all these nice things the modern first world brings us then, at some point, ejected from the smooth sails of a hang glider and forced to free fall through the rest of life just trying to maintain what bit of life you know. He never had much, and his clutches were removed from that comfort for perhaps all of his life he can remember, but like practically every westerner, he had more than he could probably afford– at least when he was no longer to able to live only for himself. Now what stands is a 60 year old man, likely fatigued beyond my comprehension, everyday his body breaking down as the days pile on, and like the slower friend who tends to get lost his mind too follows and slowly catches in that regard. This process, irreversible, compresses and accelerates in the complete opposite manner of the first years of your existence — which seem to last forever. Instead of having any sort of rest to look forward to in his future, at any point in his life, he wakes up every morning to a greater burden to drag and seemingly bigger puzzles to complete, greater problems to solve and so on. Not just no rest; less rest.
I see my mom, the unstoppable force, doing what objects in motion do– always staying in motion. Always working, never resting. There is no throttle with that woman. She always goes at 110% until her body shuts down on her. While school is out, she doesn’t have her normal job, so they are trying to build up a business out of nowhere, not even on their own time like they wanted, but because they have no choice but to make something work. On her own, she runs her kitchen as if she had 10 people working it– this sometimes cramped, uncomfortably hot and claustrophobic space in what is already an oft cramped, uncomfortably hot house. The three of us who live here love each other dearly, but sometimes I think these walls aren’t big enough to fit the three of us, maybe you can call me a spoiled American, but I think I’m more of a victim to my culture than I am a propagator. Finally, as each day concludes, I get to witness her slowly break down until the power is completely sucked out; a 53 year old woman relegated to an inanimate crash test dummy, motionless and so worn out that you’d think what you are witnessing is something completely devoid of life. Then, perfectly parallel to the cycle of the day, she resurrects, slogs those weathered bones, worn tendons and rusted joints back to operation and goes full force again.
Then there is myself. The one who has to dread going to sleep because I will wake up again the next afternoon, apply to 3 to 7 more jobs, assured that it will lead to nothing, knowing I am the most capable person in the family– even more capable than most people in general, yet totally helpless. I think at some point in my life, I got lost and stumbled into a Twilight Zone episode where some supernatural force decided to take away my ability to influence the real world, but imprisoned me in it, so I could merely witness the long break down in nature and end of all things, watching those I love do what they can to hang out, yet unable to join them in the struggle.
I witness these things and feel it is tragic because I want to be able to help them. I know how much these people have done for me, as they continue to do so, yet I can’t find my own place in the equation. I’d be less miserable being miserable with those I love than I would be spoiled, knowing the others are miserable. In fact, I think I’d be happy. And that is just a piece of this emotional overload.
I will say, it is kind of a funny thing, because I feel these kind of things as if it were a continual numbness. You know it is there, you feel it, but nothing changes. I am still very happy throughout the day. I don’t feel really sad or down, or any sort of emotion that affects the present, I just feel them all juxtaposed at no cost to my demeanor or outlook on life, it is just that awkward looking passenger seat attached to my motorcycle.
To analyze it, I think I am mostly frustrated at everything. Things aren’t going how I’d want them to, or how I have been trying to get them to and that exposes other things. In this case, I think it almost exposes reality for what it is; I’m getting old, I’m grown up, I’m there, but society won’t let me join it. I now recognize my place and the sobering truth of my age and where I’ve already arrived at in life, where I’ve already left (youth), thus I now have to recognize that my parents have lived probably more life than they ever imagined possible. One day soon, I’ll be the 60 year old man. I won’t be freaking out because this arbitrary figure that is a big deal in my mind is now assigned to my father, but it is assigned to me. Perhaps in my lifetime, medical advances will allow me to have that same ‘all-your-blood-drops-to-your-feet’ freak out epiphany like that when I’m 120, who knows, but it is what it is. Actually, that is kind of odd to think about, I don’t think I’d care to live so long. Maybe it is because to us it just doesn’t seem natural, but I feel like even if science can make it possible for our bodies to function longer and longer, that doesn’t account for our mind’s. That’s so much more guilt, pain, joy, happiness, sorrow, exictement, disappointment, apathy and memories to have layered on top of each other.
More and more I believe that the greatest thing about youth is that your frame of reference is so direct. I have my best friends, the only family I’ve known for my life. The girl I loved or used to love. My first set of pets. My first this and first that, everything is just fresh. As it all goes on, all those things in the back stale and the newer ones have different impacts because the experience coupled with it. The significance of everything seems to fade. Did I love the girl I thought, for years, I was going to marry when I was just starting adulthood, but let go because I wasn’t in the right place in life as much as the girl I thought I was going to marry well into my adulthood, who left me? Did I love her, her or her in the same way? What did this best friend mean to me as opposed to this one? Ad infinitum.
I could probably go on and on with all of these thoughts and feelings, but I have already gotten very convoluted and frayed with it as it is, I think I will end it here.
As I toil away and struggle to get in a place where I actually feel that I have entered adulthood, in a societal manner, all these thoughts and feelings mount. Everything becomes so constricting. I’m bound and like I said, all I can do is just watch the life pass by until I can break free and put in the assembly line with everyone else. Damn, and to think all I really wanted to do was to make a little bit of money, go to the gym, eat three times and have a girl give me attention.
Too bad this life thing doesn’t get any easier. As long as I can find a way to make it easier for my parents, that’s all I need.